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George Chagollan, Sr.
July 22, 1934 ~ November 5, 2023 (age 89) 89 Years Old
George Chagollan—a veteran of the Korean War and devoted family man—died Nov. 5, 2023 of natural causes in Hawaii, where he lived in retirement for several years. He was 89.
George was born in 1934 in Los Angeles, the youngest of three brothers. His parents, Manuel Chagollan and Aurora Zazueta, hailed from Sinaloa, Mexico, making George a first generation American. They lived in Whittier, not far from the Nixons, who owned a local country market.
All three brothers would serve in the military, George enlisting as a minor in the Air Force. He’d see action on the front lines during the Korean conflict in the early ’50s as a medic, proving his mettle and prepping him for his work for the City of Los Angeles—first as an ambulance driver and later among the first ranks of paramedics for the L.A. Fire Dept. in the ’70s, decades before “first responders” entered the lexicon.
In 1954 George married Peggy Jo Le Barre, from Temple City, Oklahoma, at the tender age of 18 (Peggy was 17, which prompted the ceremony to take place in Arizona, which allowed such unions with parental consent). They would end up having four kids while still in their 20s, eventually moving to Santa Fe Springs, CA. A young, athletic dad, George was an avid sports fan and competitive racquetball player, among the best at his LAFD station house.
He loved music, with a special preference for classical and West Coast jazz, and frequented clubs with his brothers in the ’50s and ’60s during the height of the form, seeing performances by the likes of Miles Davis and Dave Brubeck in small L.A. venues. Vacations were invariably spent in Mexico, where George enjoyed family ties and the dollar went far.
After Peggy died of cancer in 1968, George married Anne Marie Poisson, a French Canadian transplant from Drummondville, Quebec. Their marriage lasted more than 20 years, with their home in Huntington Beach acting as the primary setting for family gatherings during the holidays.
After their divorce, George moved to the North Shore of Oahu, where his daughter Cathy lived with her family.
As a retiree, George’s passions were football (college and pros), classic Hollywood movies, history (especially revolutionary Mexico and WWII), gardening and foods of all stripes.
He is survived by his brother Steve, sons George, Steve and Carl, daughter Cathy and six grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren.